Posted in Book review, Books, Reading Challenge, Summer

Recently Read Books

Even though it’s been busy before summer vacation started, there has been time to read some light fiction, of course. Sometimes it’s nice to read books that might not have the “wow effect” because they still give you the satisfaction of being entertained and finishing a story, even if just to fill some prompts of the reading challenges. 🙂

Reading experience doesn’t always have to be very deep and thought provoking. Sometimes it’s nice to just read and take your mind away from whatever stress you’re experiencing.

Murha maalaisidyllissä by Marie Bengts

Rough translation would be “Murder in the idyllic countryside” for this cute Swedish cozy mystery. The setting is a small countryside village in Sweden in the 1950s. The amateur sleuth is a seamstress from the city who visits her aunt in the village and just then there happens a murder as well. Very traditional setting and I very much enjoyed exploring the Swedish 1950s with amateur sleuth Hannah, who brought some modern spirit to this somewhat backwards village. I confess that some of the characters felt somewhat stereotypical and silly, but then again the setting felt familiar: I could easily imagine how Finnish countryside would have been as stereotypical (or even more) back then. This is the first book for author Marie Bengts, and even though the plot was quite predictable, I wouldn’t mind reading more from her in the future.

In the Woods by Tana French

This was read together in the bookclub I host. We had a theme to vote for a book to read from “thriller” genre and In the Woods won. I unfortunately almost didn’t finish this book. If I wasn’t responsible of running the bookclub, I probably would’ve given up with this novel, to be honest. From the start, I couldn’t stand the unreliable, moody main character Rob. And once I get that feeling with a character, it’s very difficult to shake off. And I think his character was meant to be quite unlikable so that didn’t help. 🙂 I did enjoy everything about the other character, Rob’s partner Cassie, and I think I wouldn’t have had this many issues if the story had been told from her perspective. And since I tend to enjoy cozy/traditional mysteries where there is some kind of a solution/conclusion to the story, well this modern mystery unfortunately left me cold with that as well.

Yön Sydän On Jäätä by Virpi Hämeen-Anttila

Rough translation for this novel would be “Heart of the Night is Ice”. This was a nice mystery set in 1920s Helsinki, Finland. Newly independent country, time of prohibition and of course murder mysteries happening here and there, so I felt home with this setting. I enjoyed reading this, even though the mystery itself wasn’t a huge page turner. The main character, public servant Axel Björk, was quite a sympathetic sleuth and I really enjoyed reading about such a familiar environment (Helsinki, our capital city) and how it was in the 20s. I think I’ll read the next one too!

These books fill these prompts from the two Reading Challenges I’m doing this year:

Murha Maalaisidyllissä:
A book by an author with flora or fauna in their name (Popsugar Reading Challenge)
– The first published book of an author (Helmet Reading Challenge)

In the Woods:
A book with the same title as a movie or TV show but is unrelated to it (Popsugar Reading Challenge)
– The book is located in a country that has fewer residents than Finland (Helmet Reading Challenge)

Yön Sydän on Jäätä
A book with a made-up language (Popsugar Reading Challenge)
– There is a sauna in the book (Helmet Reading Challenge)


I love books, games and the coziness of our house (currently it's the kingdom of me and my husband). My work in a game studio as a Senior HR Specialist keeps me busy and social, but I am an introvert in my core. Navigating life between my very social work and my introvert, less social personality can be tricky and it goes hand in hand with my interest in overall personal well-being.

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